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'Covenant' cover image


The History of a Biblical Idea

The familiar idea of a covenant between God and his people is central to much of the literature of the Old testament. It has nevertheless provde particularly elusive; and through the long history of biblical interpretation, vague, confused and often contradictory explanations of various biblical covenants have been advanced. Over the past fifteen years, however, significant progress has been made toward explaining the idea and tracing its history. Much of this progress has been the result of recent archaeological discoveries in the Near East that have helped scholars to determine the relationship between cultural and political forces and the emergence of the idea.

Dr. Hillers' book presents a unified account of the development of this fundamental biblical theme. Two major motifs run through the discussion: the influence of ancient treaty forms on the conceot of covenant and varying forms of covenant that underlie the history of the idea from the Old Testament perios to the time of the Essenes and early Christians.

Through analyses of the style, content, and language of biblical and extra-biblical documents, Dr. Hillers renders the complex idea of covenant comprehensible to the layman. He provides valuable insights into such ideas as the love of God and the knowledge of God, which are intimately connected with Israel's concept of covenant. His account also serves as an introduction to some of the concerns and methods of modern biblical scholarship.